Greetings, Nerd Bastards readers. Jake here, from The Hall of Comics – where heroes shop. I’m a bagged and boarded professional. My passion (and business) is to read, write about and sell comics. In an alliance forged in the stars, The Hall of Comics will be dropping by Nerd Bastards weekly, to bring you the latest word and the week’s best pulls in comics. So sit back, grab a snack, and check out the latest comic book titles you should be reading.
On Kenny Logan’s eighteenth birthday, his father gives him a small cube made of alien technology that can turn objects into anything Kenny can imagine. Unbeknownst to Kenny, a Nazi scientist and an elite government spy each know about the cube and want it for themselves. Aaron Lopresti does double duty as writer & artist on Power Cubed, a Disney-esque coming of age adventure. “Disney-esque” because it has some feel-good and bittersweet moments – even a self-proclaimed Jiminy Cricket-type character. But the book doesn’t know if it wants to go that route, or if it wants to be more like The Venture Brothers in scenes where nazi scientist Dr Cruel banters with his henchmen. Power Cubed works best as an all ages book, if it works at all. I can’t imagine adult readers finding it fresh or original enough to be engaging.
The best thing by far about Weirdworld is Mike del Mundo’s stunning art. The soft yet dense layers of color that have no lines make this book worth picking up even if you don’t read the dialogue. And to be honest, it’s not Jason Aaron’s fastest moving plot. I love Aaron’s work but I think that he needs some real-world element to ground him, as seen in his amazing run on Thor. Here, in a purely fantasy setting, it may be hard for him to create the gravitas that typically gives his work traction. We do get some insight in this issue into Arkon’s dilemma that should propel us into the final issue. It was cool to see the inclusion of the Man Things, but they don’t lead to as much as I’d wished they had. The book is called “Weirdworld”, and the place is featured prominently enough to warrant that, but Arkon is the star and he’s simply not deep enough of a character to build a 5-issue series around.
By the end of sci-fi writer Philip K Dick’s career, he had done so many drugs that he didn’t know what was real and what was a paranoid delusion. Fortunately for us, it made for some brilliant story-telling. As we get further into Grant Morrison’s Nameless, one can’t help wonder if he’s taken a page from Dick’s handbook. Nameless, though, is fully aware that it is a Moebius strip of storytelling, folding over on itself in a maze of what Nameless, the lead character, thinks he’s done and what he’s only imagining. In this issue that explains his past, there’s also a terrifying revelation as to the identity of the evil deity at the heart of it all. The reveal will make some of you shudder, some laugh, and some will be offended. I thought it was genius. The ambiguity of what’s real in the story will put-off some readers, but I’m enjoying the horror and imagination of it. Chris Burnham’s art is paired terrifically with Morrison’s vision – disturbing while still entertaining.
If Grayson hasn’t been Bat enough for you, or maybe you never picked it up to begin with but you’re a big Batman fan, you should get this week’s issue. Dick leaves the spy organization, Spyral, and returns to Gotham and to his Bat-family who along with everyone else thought he was dead. If you haven’t been keeping up with Batman, you’ll be confused as to the state of Bruce Wayne – writers Tim Seeley and Tom King do a nice job of tying this issue into Scott Snyder’s complicated plot in the main Batman title. But that aside, I think that fans of the rest of the Bat-family deserve to read this issue for its genuinely heartfelt moments between the team that are adorned beautifully by speech bubbles capturing quotes from throughout the history of the characters’ relationships. Mikel Janín gives us one of the best looking Bat covers in recent memory, along with some really great interiors that made me pick up the book in the first place. It’s a satisfying read that has the unenviable task of navigating the pre New 52/post New 52 history all these characters share, and it does a pretty darn good job of it.
This week’s Nick Fury edition is the bet of the Shield 50th anniversary one-shots. The story involves both the classic Fury, along with his son, the modern day interpretation of the super spy. It’s surprisingly political, using the country’s current racial climate as a backdrop on which to unite the two characters, along with a little time travel. I would have enjoyed someone a little grittier and realistic than Lee Ferguson on pencils. What appealed to me about this one over the previous one-shots is that the story fit the format. The same type of approach that’s used in an ongoing series doesn’t work in a one-shot. At the same time, it can’t be too trivial, too much of just a throw-away. Writer David F Walker gives us a story that’s memorable and still able to stand on its own.
If you don’t already know that there’s a third (yes, there was second) Dark Knight story coming soon, you’re probably not into comics. This November 25th will see the release of Dark Knight III: The Master Race “because we demanded it.” What we actually demanded was to forget all about the first sequel. And barring that, for the first sequel to get a do-over resulting in something that actually makes sense. Maybe this will be that. Maybe DC will pull a “Halloween 3 & 4” maneuver and just keep driving like the car never hit that squirrel. Surely, the partnering of Brian Azzarello with Frank Miller on writing chores is keep the series’ originator from going off the reservation like he did in The Dark Knight Strikes Again. DC certainly needs a win and they’re due. They’d have to really screw this one up for a Batman event to not do well.
Alright kiddies, that’s it for me this week. Tune in next week for another addition of “Meanwhile at The Hall of Comics”. Wanna know what else is out this week? Check out the full list of releases at The Hall of Comics NEW RELEASE page HERE.
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